Institute of Fundamental Technological Research
Polish Academy of Sciences


Chengzhe Tian

University of Copenhagen (DK)

Recent publications
1.  Kellogg R.A., Tian C., Lipniacki T., Quake S.R., Tay S., Digital signaling decouples activation probability and population heterogeneity, eLife, ISSN: 2050-084X, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.08931, Vol.4, pp.e08931-1-26, 2015

Digital signaling enhances robustness of cellular decisions in noisy environments, but it is unclear how digital systems transmit temporal information about a stimulus. To understand how temporal input information is encoded and decoded by the NF-κB system, we studied transcription factor dynamics and gene regulation under dose- and duration-modulated inflammatory inputs. Mathematical modeling predicted and microfluidic single-cell experiments confirmed that integral of the stimulus (or area, concentration × duration) controls the fraction of cells that activate NF-κB in the population. However, stimulus temporal profile determined NF-κB dynamics, cell-to-cell variability, and gene expression phenotype. A sustained, weak stimulation lead to heterogeneous activation and delayed timing that is transmitted to gene expression. In contrast, a transient, strong stimulus with the same area caused rapid and uniform dynamics. These results show that digital NF-κB signaling enables multidimensional control of cellular phenotype via input profile, allowing parallel and independent control of single-cell activation probability and population heterogeneity.

Kellogg R.A. - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (CH)
Tian C. - University of Copenhagen (DK)
Lipniacki T. - IPPT PAN
Quake S.R. - Stanford University (US)
Tay S. - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (CH)

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